KEEP ON KEEP­ING ON

Sunday Observer - - YOUTH SECTION - With guest writer Mukelo Tembe

Liv­ing on pur­pose, as I de­fine it, is to be­come aware that we were all cre­ated to serve some spe­cific func­tion in life.

Some of these pur­poses might be lofty, at­tract­ing the ac­co­lades of the world. Some of these pur­poses may be down-to-earth, such as rais­ing a child, teach­ing or en­gag­ing in some other ac­tiv­ity that may not be as ac­knowl­edged by so­ci­ety but is still sig­nif­i­cant. The pur­suit of your life is to come into that pur­pose. And the waste of your life is to miss that pur­pose. The prob­lem, though, for most of us is dis­cov­er­ing what our pur­pose is. Here are a few mis­takes we make while look­ing for it, ones that can dis­tract or mis­di­rect us.

Just be­cause you ad­mire some­thing doesn't mean it's your pur­pose. Don't let your­self be dis­tracted by some­thing that should be a hobby. If you, like me, en­joy mu­sic, that doesn't nec­es­sar­ily mean you should be the one di­rect­ing the song. Buy some CDs or en­joy mu­sic on your head­set, just don't let it take your fo­cus. Usu­ally, when things drive us crazy, we're taught to walk away or ig­nore them. But some­times it can help to take a closer look. For ex­am­ple, if some­body does some­thing in­cor­rectly, and their er­ror drives us crazy, we shouldn't crit­i­cise the per­son—we should look at what our in­abil­ity to tol­er­ate their er­ror can show us. What you can­not stand to see done badly is ex­actly where you ought to work. If you can't stand it when the church pro­grammes are done in­cor­rectly or when the in­vi­ta­tions are not sent out in time— if you want things in or­der—maybe you should con­sider work­ing in an area of ad­min­is­tra­tion. Other peo­ple might not even be both­ered by these things, but your in­abil­ity to put up with any­thing less than ex­cel­lence means that you have an in­ter­est there. You need to recog­nise, "This is an area I have pas­sion about."

De­spite the many tears that threat­ened to di­lute it, your faith did not dis­solve. Your heart is still pump­ing. Your pulse is a sign that this world needs you. All of your achieve­ments, con­fu­sion, ac­co­lades, is­sues, awards, and pain pre­pared you for the jour­ney. You know you were made for so much more than this. Long be­fore you be­came aware that life could be more bit­ter than sweet, you be­lieved that noth­ing was im­pos­si­ble.

I want to speak to the child who once be­lieved she could jump off of her bed and fly. I want to speak to the per­son who was so afraid of the dark that she needed her door cracked to let in a glim­mer of light. Re­mem­ber how you laughed with­out fear of how your joy would sound to other peo­ple and cried with­out con­cern that other peo­ple would think you were weak? You were fully alive. You felt ev­ery­thing and didn’t need any­thing to numb you from your re­al­ity.

Each minute that passes by is trans- form­ing you. Bi­o­log­i­cally, your hair be­gins to turn gray, and your skin and mus­cles be­gin mak­ing a slow, grace­ful dance into older age. This is the beau­ti­ful cy­cle of life. On the in­side, learn­ing to change and con­trol the way we think about what we’ve faced does not come so nat­u­rally. Even more chal­leng­ing is hav­ing the heart to look to­ward the fu­ture with op­ti­mism. In fact, it takes great in­ten­tion­al­ity. But what I learned is that God does not prom­ise us smooth sail­ing.

It has been said that still wa­ters run deep, but that is only true for bod­ies of wa­ter that are con­fined to a cer­tain space. The deep­est wa­ters, like oceans and seas, have con­stant waves and rip­ples that make them the op­po­site of still; they are the epit­ome of pow­er­ful.

The ocean is a part of an ecosys­tem that is much larger than what the eye can see. The con­sis­tent waves of the ocean tes- tify to the ocean’s tremen­dous power. There is life spring­ing forth from its depths and winds graz­ing the top of the wa­ter that cre­ates an un­stop­pable cur­rent. What’s mar­velous to con­sider is that the same Source that cre­ated the ocean, filled it with life, and set it in rhythm, cre­ated you. You are as un­stop­pable and pow­er­ful as the ocean!

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